- The federal government on Monday, September 24, ordered the recall of the second tranche of the London and Paris Club Refunds
- The refunds disbursed to five states including Benue, amounted to N972 billion
- Governor Ortom has called for calm over the decision of the government
Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has urged the people of the state to remain calm, following the decision of the federal government to withdraw the final tranche of Paris club refund sent to the state.
While expressing shock at the decision of the federal government to withdraw the funds, Governor Ortom expressed optimism that the decision will be reversed in the interest of the workers and retirees of the state.
Following the governor's directive to the state Ministry of Finance, payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities was set to commence on Tuesday, September 25, only for the people to wake up with the news of federal government's recall of the funds from the state's accounts.
“We hope this latest move is not part of the ongoing witch-hunt of the state. Benue people have already suffered enough impunity and attacks. We also hope that the withdrawal order was made in error, because the said funds are not grants from the federal government.
“This was a refund of funds the federal government has been owing Benue over the years, so they shouldn't make it look as though they had given the state a loan or a grant,” a statement from Governor Ortom's spokesman, Terver Akase, noted.
The statement however, noted that the Nigerian Governor's Forum will meet in Abuja on Tuesday, September 25, and an official position will be taken on the matter.
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Last week, Governor Ortom confirmed that he received N14.9 billion final tranche of the Paris Club refund from the federal government, vowing to use 80% of the funds for payment of salaries, pensions and gratuities.
According to a statement obtained by Legit.ng through Ortom's chief press secretary, Terver Akase, the governor confirmed the receipt of the fund on Thursday, September 20.
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